After wrapping up our summit in Berlin, Mike, Phil and I caught a flight to Tel Aviv to spend a few days working with the team at our subsidiary. We arrived during the weekend and decided to spend Sunday in Jerusalem. Michal, the admin at Shopping, set us up with a private guide who took us through the city.

I’ve been to Jerusalem before and spent a day in the old city, so many of the sites were not new to me – but the sense of wonder and amazement at being in this historic place wasn’t diminished by that fact. Actually, since I’d seen the places before, I could focus on some of the details I would have otherwise missed:

Small doorways leading to beautiful Armenian churches:

The details within a mosaic on the walls of the Church of the Dormition:

A woman with a personal devotion in a small side chapel adjacent to Golgotha:

But the place that has really captivated me both times I’ve been to Jerusalem isn’t even in the old city. On the Mount of Olives, overlooking the old city, lies the Garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus spent the night praying while the apostles slept under the olive trees nearby. “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

What is it about this place that speaks to me so deeply? I’m not sure – I think it’s a number of things. But the most powerful element for me is the trees – the olive trees in the garden. They are ancient creatures – several of them are over 2000 years old, and were alive on the mount when this history was being made. They are gnarled, twisted trees, their trunks bearing the scars of their many years. But they still stand here in the garden, bearing fruit, living witnesses to all that has transpired in this storied city.

For full size images of this trip, visit my SmugMug gallery.


~ by Nathan on October 25, 2007.

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